BY Bob Nalbandian

The former ACCEPT screamer talks about his latest release "Holy" with his solo band U.D.O.

BN: The new U.D.O. CD "Holy" is heavy as Hell. The band is sounding heavier than ever! Any plans on hitting the US in support of this CD?

UDO: We're scheduled to come to America the first of June (2000) for three weeks to do some shows on the east coast, and we're also talking about doing some shows on the west coast possibly in August. In between, we have to play a lot of festivals in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Greece, Italy...all over Europe.

BN: What festivals will U.D.O. be playing this summer?

UDO: The "Bang Your Head Festival" in Germany with The Scorpions, Running Wild, Doro, Rage...

BN: All German bands?

UDO: A lot of German bands...I think Slayer will also be playing one of the days. It's a very good bill.

BN: U.D.O. is very popular in the Eastern played a big festival in Russia back in, what, '98?

UDO: The first time we played Russia was in '98, yes. I had played in Moscow before with Accept. The actual tour we did in Russia was great, we didn't expect the people in Russia to know our music but there were nearly 5,000 people per show who were singing every song. We started at the Chinese border and then played Moscow, St. Petersburg, shows in Siberia...we did the second tour in Russia and we plan to go again in October.

BN: Are the U.D.O. records distributed throughout Russia or is it all black market?

UDO: Our records are distributed in Russia but, of course, there is still a lot of black market going on.

BN: Stefan Kaufmann, your old drummer from Accept, is back in U.D.O., but this time playing guitar. I was surprised how good a guitar player he is! I hear a lot of Blackmore influence...

UDO: Yeah, in a way. I think it surprised a lot of people. Stefan actually started playing guitar before he played drums, so I always knew he was a very good guitar player.

BN: So, who actually played the drums on the new record? Was it also Stefan?

UDO: No, it is not Stefan. We had a problem with our old drummer, so we have a very good friend, who is very popular, who played drums on the record but he said we can not mention his name or he would be in big trouble (laughs). He is a well-known drummer and he did us a big favor. We have a new drummer from Switzerland named Lorenzo Milani who will be doing the tour.

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